China Tour 2013
April 10th – 23rd, 2013

April 14th Xi’an is a very green city. All over you will see perfectly clipped hedges in colours of red and green, terraced slopes of weeping willows, locust trees in white and purple and many people. That is the way it is in China. A village has around 5 million people! There are no less than 76 universities here too so many young people.

It would be here that the Terra Cotta Warriors would be discovered by farmers digging for wells in just 1974. What a discovery they made. The terra cotta army of Qin Shihuangdi, the grand mausoleum of the first emperor of China, was protected by no less than 6000 six foot tall warriors. They do not understand why six feet tall to this day but there are several assumptions, one being that the clay used would shrink so they built them bigger for this reason and they never did shrink. The people certainly were not this tall. Could be that the size gave power and strength on a grandeur scale in the afterlife?. There are other theories. Excavation continues and will continue for many generations as they will not open any more than the 4 pits they have now after discovering that the delicate paint that they were all covered in has disappeared after exposure to the elements. There are pictures there showing what they did look like just after being dug up to give you an idea. Still at 22 square miles and 400 different burial sites, there is so much more to discover. What we see now is amazing though and it is an awesome experience to see this in real life. The largest pit contains the most, the army and the burial of this was so well planned, even down to tamping the clay earth, putting bricks on the floor, then placing each soldier in formation for battle, putting huge wooden beams on the top of them and covering up with soil to hide them forever, or so they thought. We see from another pit two carriages with horses, much smaller scale but in perfect condition on display and cannot help but think of how it must have been like to have lived in this time…and for an emperor to have this much power.

On our way back to the hotel we stopped at a jade factory to let them see how jade was collected, how to spot what kind of jade is real and see the special jadite that comes from this area. Then some rest time and off this evening to our dumpling dinner and Tang Dynasty show. I like this show as it gives you a taste of the softer side of China with beautiful costumes on beautiful ladies. The dances and music are all very special.
Many Pawlonia trees here in bloom as well as the locust. The pomegranate tree is the city tree. I also learned that the weeping willow is a sign of protection while away so you often see the Chinese holding a branch and getting their picture taken. It is also a major subject of art.



  • New Eden
  • Kids Garden
  • Plant a Row Grow a Row